T h e U t o p i a n L i b r a r y

w o r k ▪ p l a y ▪ l e a r n ▪ s h a r e

What is Important to YOU?

…tips from Julie Scordato (Teen Services Specialist @ Columbus Metropolitan Library) for Getting Gaming on the Table, in the Conversation, and Running at Locations.

How do we sell people on gaming at the library? First, determine what is important:

  • Bringing in more teens?
  • Engaging the teens that we have?
  • Encourage repeat visits to the library?

Priorities to consider:

  • Mission and strategic plan
  • Valies and organizational culture
  • Challenges
  • How can gaming support what the library is doing? How can gaming help meet the challenges facing the library?

Important conversations:

  • Talk about gaming with administration and staff at all levels simultaneously.
  • It’s a disadvantage for administration to support gaming without buy-in from staff.

Reaching staff:

  • Present gaming at different group meetings
  • Talk it up with individual staff
    • One-on-one
    • In other, unrelated meetings

REMEMBER THIS: Support from administration is essential, but staff make gaming a success!

Find your gamers

  • Gamers can educate and reassure staff
  • They can be experts and informally answer questions
  • Can give staff demonstrations and over see gaming pilot programs

Pilot programs

  • Host pilots at locations that are representative of different communities
  • Invite staff from throughout the organization to observe
  • Involve teens in the pilot programs, too

Find your converts

  • Staff who were originally resistant, on the fence, or had no opinion about gaming can become sold on gaming after observing it firsthand.

The Naysayers

  • Encourage naysayers to attend pilot programs
  • Look for support from converts and believers who have credibility with the naysayers
  • As long as the library system supports the progra, it’s OK if we agree to disagree

Purpose of Gaming Proposal

  • Gains support for the program
  • Establishes credibility of gaming

“Gaming is Cool” is not enough

  • We must show how gaming ties into the organization’s mission and values
  • Have cultural and statistcal data to prove that gaming is not just a fad

Questions to ask administration and ourselves:

  • To what extent to we envision our commitment?
  • What is a realistic timeline for implementation?
  • What are the expectations for staff follow-through?

Consult and cite the literature

  • Relevant publications
  • Examples of success
  • The reality of technology and implications in library service
    • Ann Arbor, VOYA February 2005
    • ESA

Use testimonials and narratives from patrons and staff.


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